Man With COVID Overdoses on Ivermectin As Doctors Warn It's 'Ineffective and Not Safe'

A man who tested positive for COVID-19 ended up being hospitalized after overdosing on ivermectin and a cocktail of other drugs.

According to Western Sydney Health, a male patient was admitted to the emergency department of Westmead Hospital in Sydney, Australia, with vomiting and diarrhea after attempting to treat the coronavirus with a selection of "magic cures" purchased online.

An anti-parasitic medication predominantly used to treat horses and other livestock, ivermectin has been touted as a potential cure for COVID-19 by many of those opposed to vaccinations.

In this instance, Westmead Hospital toxicologist Associate Professor Naren Gunja was keen to stress that the man ended up in hospital not because of the virus but because of his use of ivermectin and other drugs being peddled on the internet as effective treatments.

"Thankfully they didn't develop severe toxicity but it didn't help their COVID either," Gunja said.

"There's no evidence to support the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Don't look for magic cures online, and don't rely on what's being peddled on the internet, because none of them work."

While the man has since recovered, Gunja said Westmead Hospital has seen a variety of patients admitted as a result of trying to treat COVID-19 with everything from hydroxychloroquine to household bleach.

In the wake of this latest hospitalization, Australia's chief medical officer, Professor Paul Kelly, issued a warning against the use of unproven drugs in treating the coronavirus, noting that there was "not a single trial" that had proved ivermectin was an effective treatment.

"Absolutely and categorically, please do not take unproven medicines," he told reporters. "It is ineffective and not safe."

Last month, the Australian Government's Therapeutic Goods Administration urged the public not to use the drug to treat the virus after recording "increased importation and prescribing of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19."

The situation in Australia mirrors much of what is unfolding in the U.S. where there has been a noticeable surge in demand for ivermectin despite both the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advising against its use.

Kentucky Poison Control has seen a spike in the number of calls it has received related to the misuse of the drug, while in Illinois, a judge ruled against a woman who was attempting to force a hospital to administer ivermectin to her husband after he contracted COVID-19.

The situation has become so bad one store in Nevada has made it a requirement that anyone wishing to purchase ivermectin provide proof that they own a horse.

Comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan, meanwhile, has been branded an "idiot" after revealing to fans that he used the drug after contracting COVID-19.

Newsweek has reached out to Western Sydney Health for further comment.

A man lying in a hospital bed.
Stock image of a man in hospital - A man in Australia was hospitalized after overdosing on Ivermectin and a cocktail of other drugs. gorodenkoff/Getty